There have been times in my life when I have felt close to God and times when I’ve felt spiritually empty. Most of the time, I have had a decent connection to God/a Higher Power throughout my life but something was always missing. I was raised Catholic and attended mass every week, received all of the sacraments up to being confirmed, and celebrated Christmas with readings from the Bible. Despite all this routine worship I never felt connected to God this way. As I matured, I contemplated my spirituality quite often, especially after my mom died and I was confirmed the next year. At some point my 8th grade year I figured out that I was not Catholic. I did not find satisfaction with the religion which made me feel a bit bad because I had to continue pretending for my family. I did not want to be confirmed because I respect all religions, even if I don’t agree with their beliefs, and I felt as though taking that step in the Catholic church was wrong. I went through with it because I could not explain to my Dad and family that I did not want to be a Catholic. I still attend church with my Dad sometimes and have had great conversations with him about religion. He knows that I do not consider myself Catholic but he does not yet know that I consider myself Buddhist.
I should mention, I do respect other religions because I believe in equality and having an open mind but I have an issue with the institution of religion. By this I mean that I believe that religion- being the hierarchy, condemnation, forceful conversion/spread, and strict rules requiring the adherence to out-of-date tradition- has been used in the past and is used today to control people/society. I have formed this belief through personal experience and I understand that you might see it from a different point of view. Again, this is just my opinion.
Recently my interest in Buddhism has turned into actual knowledge and exploration of the beliefs. I feel so comforted by it and cannot wait to learn more. My spiritual beliefs are complicated, as are most of yours I’m sure. I think this is how it has to be because God, Life, the Universe, Good and Evil, Spirits, and our Minds are all very complicated. I am also a huge advocate of science and psychology. The connection between science and psychology to Buddhism is also very interesting and strong. This is one of the main reasons I was drawn to it. Peace being the most significant reason. Many religions teach to be peaceful but fight wars and condemn people outside of their religion. There has never been a war fought in the name of Buddhism.
I also want to find peace within myself and with my body. I am still working towards improving myself and my life but an important step in accomplishing this is loving myself. Buddhism helps me with this and I hope you all find a way to achieve this as well because every person, every life, deserves to be enjoyed. Happiness is my goal.
I am sure most of you don’t know much about Buddhism and might only think of yoga, a fat Buddha, or Asia when you hear about it. Some of you might have misconceptions of it. I am in no way saying Buddhism is right for you, but it makes me feel wonderful which is what I want to share with you. It is possible to examine it outside of religion by simply appreciate the wisdom and teachings. And yoga is great for your health!! Whatever you’re interest, I hope you enjoy perusing my blog. :)
I also have a page with some interesting myths about Buddhism which might be good to check out for just a bit more info.